Thursday, April 23, 2009

Being Beautiful

“Everyone with a beautiful body stand up!”  That’s what the head of the summer camp I used to go to said during announcements before dinner one day.  Then he made everyone stand up.  His point?  Everyone is beautiful.  No buts. So why is society so concerned with making people more beautiful?  With all the creams, make-up, and even plastic surgery, it’s like no one can be happy with the body God gave them anymore.  The world tells us that to be beautiful we must change the way our bodies look, and we believe them.

Make-up, for example.  It’s commonplace, everyday normal.  In fact, it’s considered rather strange if a woman doesn’t wear make-up.  If she doesn’t she’s told by the people around her that she could be so beautiful if only she’d put on a little mascara.  But why should women be required to wear make-up?  I recently saw a commercial that advertised being able to “make your own beautiful, whatever your budget.”  Aren’t we all beautiful though?  Do we really need synthetic products to be physically attractive?  If a girl doesn’t wear make-up does that make her ugly?

Apparently the world thinks a woman is defined by what she looks like.  Her clothes, her make-up; it all matters so much to everyone.  I don’t think superficial things should decide the worth of a person; they’re not going to last very long anyway.  Is there make-up in Heaven?  Are girls going to be putting on eyeliner for all of eternity?  I doubt it.

God created each and every one of us in His own image- that in itself makes us beautiful.  He made us each exactly the way He wanted, so why change it?  He thinks we’re all beautiful; that should be enough.  I’m not against make-up; other people can do whatever they want.  I do think, however, that everyone should get to decide for themselves what they want to do with their own body.

Deciding for oneself though, is not popular these days.  The world is telling us exactly what to do all the time.  Why can’t a girl just be herself?  Maybe she doesn’t like wearing make-up.  Maybe she likes her simple hairstyle and long skirts.  I don’t understand what is so wrong about that.  Today if a girl doesn’t conform to what’s popular she is told to “re-vamp” her appearance, make herself more interesting.  Individuality is gone in today’s society.  Magazines advertise “standing out” by wearing the same name brands as everyone else.  By having the same hairstyle as your favorite actress.  It’s all incredibly contradictory.

This has all been a big point of anxiety for me lately.  Everyone seems to be trying to change some aspect of me all the time, like I’m not good enough or something.  I’ve never been one to follow trends, but it seems like now more than ever people are concerned with what the people around them look like, as if they’re afraid to be associated with the wrong “type” of person.  No one style is better than another, and I don’t think anyone should try to change someone else’s style.  The only time it should even be brought up is if it’s offensive in some way, but I don’t see how wearing black the majority of the time could possibly be offensive.

Now don’t get me wrong in all this, if what you like is what happens to be popular, then by all means, go for it.  Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s bad.  But really, if one day you feel like wearing something totally off-the-wall just for the heck of it- go for it.  Wear whatever makes you feel confident about yourself, whatever you’re comfortable in.  Don’t let other people tell you that what you like isn’t good enough, because honestly, what do they know?  If you like it, it’s good enough.  People should like you for who you are, not what you look like.

God created us all beautiful, and he created us all with free will.  We all have an opinion- use it.  Everyone has his or her own individual personality, and that can be expressed through what he or she looks like.  Don’t let other people tell you what to look like.  You have a brain- decide for yourself and you’ll be beautiful no matter what.

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